Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Advice from AMC, Netflix, and Sony Execs (THID Exclusive)

This wine-and-dine Entertainment industry event seemed at first glance to be like any other, except for the total lack of wine and the sliders the waiters passed among the hungry college student at the Sony Executive Dining Room. Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, the first film school of its kind to create a Future of Television class, were the guests of honor at this exclusive event last night at Sony Studios. The panel consisted of three of the major executives in the emerging digital era: Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer, Netflix, Steve Mosko, President of Sony Pictures Television, and Ed Carroll, COO, AMC Networks Inc. All prepared to answer, to the best of their ability, what really is the future of television.

They all agreed a change has already been made. Not only in that there are new ways to consume television, but that the content on Television has blossomed into showcasing new stories, diverse human emotions, and attracting A-level talent. Steve Mosko recounts how Television was once just an appliance in our homes and now is a place to showcase Filmmakers across 52-inch HD flat screens. He exclaims that TV is no longer a step down nor the “bastard child” of film. Ted Sarandos jumps in and comments on the breakdown of elitism in entertainment between film, TV, and even independent film. He says that TV is the new independent filmmaking, his company and others are breaking down the boundaries and shooting TV shows like 39 hour movies. For instance, Netflix’s very own fourth season of Arrested Development, where every episode had a separate runtime - the episodes crafted to the story. Ed Carroll jumps in and exclaims that every network now reaches a smaller more specific audience, which leads to less ‘safe choices.’

Later, Mosko the idea that TV and not the movie business is running the entertainment industry as there is just so much TV - and so much of it is good! Carroll follows this by speaking directly toward the college students in the audience, staring a couple straight in the eye and knowing he is speaking directly to those that will be one day taking his job. He says, to have a career in entertainment, you should be watching what you admire -  be that TV shows, Films, or Independents. You have to watch a lot and do what you're passionate about. If you want to write, write a million bad scripts. If you want to direct, direct some student films! You also have to stay in touch with those you met in film school and early on in your career. After all, Sarandos adds, Television is all about collaboration. Mosko train of advice starts with this: TV is a writers’ game, film is a directors’, and reality is a producers’ - always remember that as you work your way up the ranks in the industry.

He also urges the audience to read the trades (NY Times, Deadline, Hollywood Reporter, and Variety). The entertainment industry is constantly changing and moving fast. Just five years ago, Carroll reminded us, the premise of Breaking Bad (a drug selling high school teacher with cancer) was terrifying to advertisers. You have to keep up with the emerging trends if you want to be successful. You need to be up to date on ‘the future of television.’

Mosko finishes it off with a golden piece of advice: “Do something to differentiate yourself from other [applicants].” Internships, film school, they all help you get a leg up on your competition and closer to your dream. Every business has a connection to the entertainment industry (fashion - wardrobe, cooking - catering, law - entertainment law, engineering - drafting sets), you can do what you love and work in tv and movies! Just never give up.

THE MEGA LIST: Everything You Need to Score a Hollywood Internship THIS SUMMER

Planning on applying for competitive Summer internships at esteemed companies like ABC, Viacom, Disney, Lionsgate, NBCUniversal, etc?

Well the time is NOW. 

I know it seems early, but most of the top companies (Viacom/ NBC/ ABC/ Discovery) have opened their applications. As we get further into the semester, more companies will follow. Most applications are due the 28th of FEBRUARY!

But don't wait until then to apply!

In my experience, the sooner you apply- the better chance you have! This is because HR departments at the studio-level start in one department, interview/hire those interns, then go on to the next department. SO let's say you want to work in the development department and you apply in August, but that department has already interviewed for potions: you won't get contacted or considered for the Development department. Let us know in the comments if you're confused.

However, don't stress about filling out applications in the Summer. The Hollywood Intern Diaries is here to help with a handy dandy MEGA LIST of previous blog posts.


SUMMER 2015: Complete List of Studio Applications 

Never Interned Before? That's fine! Here's a list of companies that hire first time interns that go on to do great things.

These are updated every week, so it's best to bookmark the page, subscribe to our email list (on the sidebar, super easy-way less than one email a day), or follow us on our Facebook or Twitter pages. To know when companies have posted listings. 

Update and Make a Spectacular Resume.

The original post that has helped dozens of people land an internship in Hollywood.

Or...if Resume Design Isn't Your Thing, Invest In One.

For just $10, you can get one of specially designed resumes at our Etsy store. No effort required. You just need to input in your information into a work document and WALLA! A new resume that can get you the INTERVIEW!

Write the Perfect Cover Letter Without Spending Hours.

Never spend 2+ hours writing a cover letter again. Get your applications done and enjoy your summer!

Create a Website to Supplement Your Application.

Warning: There is a box for a Website link on every single one of these applications. It's also a great thing to put in your cover letter.

Speaking of Websites, Make Sure Your Facebook is HR-Friendly.

Yes...that means deleting your weed photos.

Check the Listing to Make Sure It's A Decent Internship. 

Learn how! You don't want to end up in a terrible internship for 3-4 months.. Trust me, I've been there.

Know the Red Flags for "Fake Development Internships" Before You Apply

Only takes a couple of mins!


Pick Up Some Personal Business Cards.

You'll seem a million times more professional than any other applicant. 

Make Sure You'll Get There In Time: LA Traffic Map

LA Traffic can be deceiving. This map will attempt to make it a little less confusing. 

What Exactly Is Business Casual? Dress for Success. 

No need to try on a zillion outfits.

Brush Up On Your Entertainment Education.

So you'll have something to talk about at your interview...you know, besides yourself. 

What Do You Bring To Your Interview? We'll tell you.

Hint: It's less than you think. 

Be Prepared for The Question Question

It's brutal. 


Don't Forget a Follow Up Email!

And....you're done! The rest is a waiting game. 

Look out for a post on how exactly HR departments work in the coming weeks. 

To stay updated: Bookmark our page, subscribe to our email list (on the sidebar, super easy), or follow us on our Facebook or Twitter pages. 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

PaleyFest: The Two-Weekend Event You Can't Miss

Chances are you likely haven't heard of PaleyFest. Well, that all changes now! PaleyFest is an annual two-weekends of panels in Los Angeles with the best show runners, writers, and actors television has to offer. It's also at the Dolby Theatre - which is a treat if you've never visited the spectacular theatre where the Oscars are held.

Last year I attended two panels: The Final Season of How I Met Your Mother AND the Lost 10th Reunion. While I didn't get any of my lingering questions answered by the showrunner of Lost (typical), I got to meet the ever inspirational creators of HIMYM and Ted Mosby. Note: I was inconsolable for about four hours afterwards. 

The panels are amazing behind the scenes looks into what goes into the development and production process of hit Television series. Plus, it is well attended by industry insiders and press. You could be sitting next to a writer from Variety, Deadline, or even a network executive (like I was last year). 

I highly recommend attending at least one of the panels this March if you are at all interested in Television Development or Production internships/careers. Below you will find a schedule and a guide to PaleyFest. 

PaleyFest 2015 Schedule:

I have gone ahead and marked* the shows with the most critical buzz. 

3/6: Homeland @7pm
3/7 A Salute to Comedy Central* @12pm
      The Good Wife* @8pm
3/8 Girls* @1pm (THID will be attending)
3/8 Scandal @7pm

3/11 Teen Wolf @7pm
3/12 Outlander @7pm
3/13 Glee Farewell @ 7pm
3/14 Arrow & The Flash @4pm
3/14 Modern Family @8pm 
3/15 Jane the Virgin* @4pm
3/15 AHS Freak Show @8pm

The Hollywood Intern Diaries Guide to PaleyFest: 


Tickets range from $46.00- $96.00 dollars. Although, if you wish, you can purchase a Student Paley Center membership ($50) and get $10-15 dollars off ticket prices for this year and next year in addition to discounted admission to the PaleyCenter in LA/NY. 

You can buy tickets and learn more about Paleyfest, HERE. 


Parking in Hollywood can be a real pain, but luckily we've got you covered. DO NOT park in the shopping center where the Dolby Theatre is (Hollywood & Highland) as parking IS NOT VALIDATED. You will end up with a $15+ parking fee.

If don't have cash: Park in the center down the block on Hollywood Blvd that has a 24-Hour Fitness, CVS, and Fresh and Easy. The first hour can be validated at CVS/Fresh and Easy. However, the daily maximum (anything over 2 hours) is $8 and you can pay by card. It is the best in the area. 

If you have cash: You can park in the TicketMaster (or StubHub, one of those) headquarters' lot. It is right across from the previous parking lot I mentioned on a side street (left turn from Hollywood Blvd when you see the CVS). However, it is a lot quieter than the other lot and a flat charge of $8 when you return. They don't take cards, but you can easily just get it from an ATM on the way back from PaleyFest. 


I am a big fan of a delicious grab-and-go crepes place on the 3rd floor of the Dolby Theatre shopping center. It's pretty economical. Although, you're in Hollywood, so you can get any kind of chain food you are looking for. You can even make an evening out of it and end at the Disney Ghirardelli's across the street from the Dolby Theatre.

Arrive Early

You are going to want to get to the theatre around thirty minuets early, especially if you are sitting in the Orchestra. It's all about smoozing your neighbors. I would even suggest to bring some business cards. 

The show also ALWAYS starts on time. However, if you are running late and stuck in traffic, the panel begins after showing an episode of the show (which could be an hour or thirty mins).

That reminds me, it is Hollywood, so please try and make it into the area about an hour and a half before the panel starts. You are likely going to have to make several difficult left turns before having to park and walk to the theatre. 

How to Meet the Cast/ Showrunners:

As soon as the panel ends, the cast/showrunners will hang around onstage to meet fans and sign things. There will be a massive run to the stage during this time. Once you arrive at the crowd, just wait patiently and slowly make your way to the front. 

Note: If you are on the balcony, you can still be part of this! You might not be allowed to go down the main stairs into the lobby as staff will direct you to the exits. However, you can exit and then reenter on the 1st floor entrance, where you can head for the stage. Although, I recommend, if you REALLY want to meet someone to buy an orchestra ticket. They aren't that much more. 

Things to Bring:

1. Bring a sharpie and a poster/mug/notebook if you want to get things signed by the showrunners/ cast. 

2. Business Cards

3. Your Parking Ticket 
    If you park in the Hollywood & Highland structure, at least get it validated at a food place before leaving. If you parked at CVS, you will have to pay before returning to your car as well.

4. Cell Phone or Camera: For some awesome photos of the Cast to prove you met them. 

I hope you enjoy the show!

You can buy tickets and learn more about Paleyfest, HERE. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

7 Companies with Proven Track Records of Hiring First Time Interns!

So you've never had an Entertainment Internship before. You've taken my advice, avoided the big 7 internship programs (NBCUniversal, Viacom, DisneyABC, etc.) like the plague, and now you're here wondering what Amazing internships are left for you.

Well...the wait is over.

For the first time ever, The Hollywood Intern Diaries has compiled a list of companies that have a proven track record in hiring first-time interns that later go on to internships with major studios and agencies. I would urge you to apply to all these programs as they provide invaluable experiences to their interns.

Team Coco/ Conan @ TBS

This is perhaps one of the best launching vehicles for higher level studio internships. These interns go on to Lionsgate, NBCUniversal,  ABC, etc. They also hire a TON of first time interns every semester, especially in their general Production department. 

Apply here by February 28th.

Tastemade, Santa Monica

Do you like food? Do you like the Food Network? Tastemade is basically the Food Network on YouTube. They own almost all of the Food Channels, constantly acquire new talent, have an amazing App (please download), and even do original development for web series. Also, did I mention Interns do hands on work and get unlimited SNACKS! They are also hiring ;)

Apply here.

Seacrest Studios @ Children's Hospital of Orange County (& Nationwide)

If you are at all interested in radio/broadcast and go to UCIrvine, Chapman, Fullerton, Cal State Long Beach, or any other school in Orange County, I would highly recommend the Ryan Seacrest Foundation at the Children's Hospital of Orange County. I know many interns that have gone on to internships at Lionsgate, Gersh Agency, SONY, etc. Plus, you're bringing joy to sick children. Where's the downside?

Apply here.


One of YouTube's biggest multichannel networks, BigFrame is partnered with the majority of the major Youtube stars. Plus, my super awesome cool friend works there and absolutely LOVES it. This is a great platform to learn about the Digital Space, the future of TV, and get to make some pretty cool connections. They also have a track record of hiring their interns. ;)

Apply here.

Ora TV

Ora TV is one of the most respected emerging Digital TV platforms with dozens of original shows including Larry King Now, cooking shows, and even narrative comedy shows. Past interns have gone on to The Ellen Degeneres Show, NBCUniversal, etc. 

Apply by sending a Cover Letter and Resume to Careers@ora.tv and find out more about the company here. 

The Doctors @ The Paramount Lot 

One of the cornerstones of CBS's daytime show slate, the Doctors hires plenty of first-time interns in the specialties of On-Set Taping, Talent/Guest Coordination, Wardrobe, Researcher/PA, Audience Coordination. Interns have gone on to jobs at other Daily and Late Night Shows.

They are currently still accepting applications for this Spring and Summer, here. 


These are for sure some of the nicest people in the entertainment industry. It's no secret that THID loves the HR team here. They put on GREAT intern events and generally hire 6-8 interns during the Summer. It's a very personalized experience and all the interns I met did not have internships before. They also accept ALL majors - even History and English!

Applications aren't out for Summer 2015 yet. I'll let you know here when they are posted. You can also check for yourself - here.

Checklist for First-Time Interns: 

1. Get a banging new resume that is classy, has some design, and isn't a template on Word. We of course recommend our Esty store (just $10 dollars), but photoshop-oriented friends and some college career centers have some templates to! Also, make sure you are including sections for coursework and production experience to make up for your lack of actual internship experience. 

2. Craft an easily changed and specific cover letter. Here's how to do so. 

3. DO NOT APPLY FOR THE STUDIO INTERNSHIPS LISTED ON OUR  "The Complete List of Summer 2015 Internship Applications", unless you have previous internship experience. Instead, apply for the internships I listed above AND constantly check Entertainment Careers.net. Apply for all the internships you are interested in and qualified for. 

4. You should be applying for 10-15 non-studio internships every application season on Entertainment Careers.net. 

5. Create a Linkedin and fill it up with On-Campus positions, your work at your Father's company, your camp counselor experience, etc. It's your first rodeo! You can and should delete them after you get more experience. 

6. Make sure you have the tools for interning in the Entertainment Industry. Make a email, Skype, AIM (yes, that AIM) account with your name. Also, like and follow Deadline on Facebook. That way, you can read the trades among your friend's engagement posts. It's incredibly easy and satisfying. 

7. Don't be afraid of getting internships in Entertainment's related industries. These can be great stepping stones to the more competitive Film/TV/ Digital internships. For instance, I got my start in Broadcast News. You could also apply for internships in Fashion, Editorial, Music, PR, and Advertising.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Harder than Harvard? Stats show that Hollywood Internships are getting more competitive than ever before.

Harvard University has an astounding 5.9% acceptance rate, depending on the program. Yale University has a 6.3% acceptance rate. Princeton a 7.4%.

Last year, my younger sister applied to all those Ivy League schools. She was attempting to fulfill the Cinderella Story, literally, that was instilled in her by a Hillary Duff movie, a revolving door of College Counselors, and an elitist private school education. She didn't get in to Harvard or Yale or even Princeton. People were shocked, college counselors were angry, and she was disappointed. That's not to say she didn't end up at an amazing school that, in my opinion, has a heck of a lot of Ivy too and a House of Cards aesthetic to match.

I feel like this set up, the idea that there are only a few internship programs worth applying to and getting, is similar to the whole Ivy League idea. It's why every year these same seven programs get more and more competitive until they are shutting THOUSANDS of people out each semester. First time internship applicants apply and wait for months only to hear they didn't even get an interview. People with internship experience get eliminated by digital video interviews, where you're talking to a camera and not a real person. It's suddenly all about taking your chances with ABC or Discovery, not about finding an internship that fits your EXPERIENCE and INTERESTS. 

I can't pretend I'm not to blame. Every year I get thousands and thousands of hits on Application lists I post. I urge people not to apply to these programs if they haven't had some Entertainment Internship experience prior. I tell them to apply for the somewhat less competitive Fall and Spring Internships. Although their acceptance numbers are getting increasingly similar. Discovery Communications in the Summer of 2015 had less than 1% acceptance rate. Yet, this Spring, 'the less competitive season', saw a 1.6% acceptance rate. Not that much of a difference.

Every year my FRIENDS get stuck without one of these major studio internships or even an internship at all - summer plans ruined. It's happened to me, believe it or not. My first year applying, the very reason I created this website in the first place. I urge you, even if you have had some internship experience, to apply to internships on EntertainmentCareers.net or on the company websites of companies you admire. For instance, Tastemade (a YouTube Company), Yahoo!, Hulu, Awesomeness TV (YouTube), etc.

In the year I've been creating these application lists, I've helped many people get their dream internships. Yet even the concept of a 'Dream internship' is as unhealthy as a 'Dream Ivy League School'. The internship application and hiring process is a series of factors, most of which don't speak to your abilities at all. Most require 1-2 solid entertainment internships before applying, however that's not all! You could be cast aside because of your film school, your availability, or because the hiring person just had a greater connection with another applicant.  I urge you, as the seasons get more and more competitive, to not only make yourselves more competitive by making a specific Cover Letter and eye-catching resume, but to apply to as many AWESOME places as humanly possible.

Just remember the truth. You could end up with a fantastic internship or even a job offer (!), even if you never interned with the Major 7 programs. I'll let you in on a little secret, almost everyone in Hollywood has interned, but once you get hired - it doesn't really matter where. I was riding in the elevator with a famed Showrunner the other day, he said it was so great that I was interning at *********. He then said, I interned somewhere, can't for the life of me remember the name of it.

 Look out for a SPECIAL First-time Internship Entertainment Careers in the coming weeks. For those of you with 1-3 internships under your belt, let the odds be ever in your favor.

Carry on fellow interns. I believe in you!

© No Experience Required Maira Gall.